West Ham Utd 2 Sunderland 0:Patience pays off for Pardew
Monday 06 February 2006
The biggest difference on Saturday was not the 50-point difference West Ham have racked up. Last season they were 21 behind Sunderland, now, in the Premiership, they are 29 points ahead. No, the biggest difference was, as Pardew noted, "patience".
His team needed it to break down the 10 men of Sunderland - following Stephen Wright's early dismissal for two clumsy challenges - and most of all they craved it from the crowd. It came. And Pardew - who has struggled up until this season to win the fans over - was grateful. "We needed it," he said. It marked, above all, West Ham's progress, the growing maturity of a young team and, perhaps, a sign that qualifying for European football this season is not fanciful.
Patience is also what Pardew is calling for from his suddenly impressive stable of strikers. Having, as he said again, gone with a "proposal" to the board to spend the necessary millions - £7m in all - to land Dean Ashton the manager must manage. "We have real competition and are well set," Pardew said. "This is what it's about: me managing that little group; and if I can do that, and keep them all here, then we are going to be difficult to beat."
The "little group" each had a piece of the action. But it was not until the arrival of Marlon Harewood, too strong and quick for Sunderland's ageing defence, that the decisive moments came. He had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside, then it was from his shot that Ashton, who had earlier seen a header brilliantly tipped over by Kelvin Davis, reacted quickest to calmly score his first for West Ham. That came inside the final 10 minutes but Paul Konchesky also had time to score his first goal for the club he joined last summer - when his speculative long-range shot squirmed embarrassingly through the goalkeeper.
It was hard on Sunderland. But then that is the story of their season. They had opportunities and Kevin Kyle wasted the best but even though their relegation is inevitable there remains an admirable spirit and commitment which was exemplified by George McCartney, playing his first game of an injury-ruined season.
"We had a great time last season," said the manager, Mick McCarthy, who has steadfastly refused to buckle. It has not been easy. "But we have still got the best jobs," he said. Pardew would concur.
Goals: Ashton (81) 1-0; Konchesky (86) 2-0.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Hislop; Scaloni, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Benayoun, Mullins (Harewood, 73), Reo-Coker, Etherington; Ashton (Dailly, 83), Zamora (Sheringham, 46). Substitutes not used: Bywater (gk), Katan.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Davis; Wright, Breen, Caldwell, McCartney; Lawrence (Stead, 83), Whitehead, Bassila, Arca (Woods, 74); Kyle, Le Tallec (Nosworthy, 24). Substitutes not used: Murphy (gk), Leadbitter.
Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).
Booked: West Ham Scaloni; Sunderland Wright, Whitehead, Caldwell. Sent off: Wright.
Man of the match: McCartney.
Latest in Sport
James Rodriguez to Real Madrid: Would Colombian star fit in with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale?
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
WWE Battleground 2014 results: John Cena and The Miz are the big winners on a night to forget in Tampa, Florida
Chelsea transfer news: Completed summer deals - including Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas
- 1 Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 4 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 5 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains